Wild Music: Sounds & Songs of Life

The Wild Music exhibit explores evidence for the biological origins of music through environmental soundscapes, interactive exhibits, and listening experiences. In the process, it expands our understanding of what makes music. From trumpeting swans to singing whales, nature's musicians create wild, wonderful tunes. The exhibition invites visitors to explore nature's score as they hum, drum, and play through a magical musical world.

Developed in partnership with the Association of Science-Technology Centers, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro School of Music, and a distinguished panel of scientists and musicians, this exhibit puts a priority on conveying high-quality sound experiences through a variety of methods, including headphones, near-field speakers, individual volume controls, a surround-sound theater and a professionally composed ambient sound environment. Interactive components allow visitors to hear, see, touch, and manipulate sound. We have made a special effort to make the exhibition accessible, particularly for those who are blind and have low vision, by incorporating tactile experiences, controls and graphics, narration in computer interactives, and audio descriptions. The exhibition is fully bilingual (English and Spanish), making it available to a wider audience. A concerted effort was made to make the exhibition as "green" as possible—utilizing ecologically responsible materials wherever feasible. With its multicultural content, attention to accessibility, and rich menu of public programs and performances, Wild Music offers broad appeal for diverse, intergenerational audiences.

BACK TO PROJECT HISTORY

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Parabolic Microphone
Parabolic Microphone
Visitors use a microphone with a parabolic reflector to pick out sound recordings of a variety of birds, squirrels, toads, and even a forest stream.

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Underwater Microphone
Underwater Microphone
Visitors can raise and lower a hydrophone into a large tank filled with water and listen through headphones as they activate mechanisms such as a bubbler.

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The Ocean Deeps Environment
The Ocean Deeps Environment
Ocean Deeps, one of the three soundscape environments within Wild Music.

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The Town Environment
The Town Environment
The Town, one of three soundscape environments within Wild Music. Here, human sounds reveal their deep biological origins.

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The Jamming Room (interior)
The Jamming Room (interior)

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The Jamming Room (exterior)
The Jamming Room (exterior)
Visitors enter a soundproof practice room to play and compose songs using pre-recorded audio soundscapes.

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The Edge of the Forest Environment
The Edge of the Forest Environment
The Edge of the Forest, one of the three soundscape environments within Wild Music. Here, visitors can hunt for the sounds of forest creatures and explore exhibits about music inspired by nature.

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Wild Music Title Panel and Edge of the Forest Environment
Wild Music Title Panel and Edge of the Forest Environment
Wild Music was built using ecologically responsible materials wherever cost, fabrication methods, and durability made it feasible.
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